Sometimes I just love looking back on my life and remembering how faithful God has been all along the way. Deciding to become a part of Global Education Ministries (GEM) was something that God has definitely been preparing me for since high school. I remember going on my very first mission trip (well, really my very first trip out of the country) to Alaba, Ethiopia when I had just turned 16 years old. It affected my life so much that after the three weeks were up, I couldn’t imagine leaving to go back home. This is when God began to fan the flame of missions deep within my heart.
But it wasn’t necessarily the places we saw or things we did that so captured my heart, although I enjoyed those things! It was the people – made in God’s image with purpose and uniqueness – that I fell in love with. This love for people has been with me ever since and is what drives me to share God’s love and the truth of the Gospel with almost everyone I meet.
So fast forward to college. In the spring of 2017, I had the amazing opportunity of studying abroad for five months in Madrid, Spain. By the time I returned, it was the summer before my senior year and I had been bitten by the travel bug all over! I knew that after graduation I wanted to go back abroad and continue learning Spanish, so I started scouring the internet for opportunities to work or study in a Spanish-speaking country: being a missionary with the IMB, working as an ESL teacher, going to grad school, working for a nonprofit… the list goes on and on! I even applied for programs through my university, hoping to win scholarships that would send me abroad. Yet, everything fell through and I am so glad it did.
By the end of January, I had decided that I would stay at home for a while after graduation to work, save, and wait for God to open the door for cross-cultural living and what I hoped would be an opportunity for missions. Little did I know that a chance encounter with an organization at a UNCG Campus Outreach discipleship meeting would be the door God was waiting to open for me!
As a High Point University student, I had never been to a discipleship meeting at UNCG. But this particular week, our Bible study was missing a few girls so we decided to make the trek and attend a talk on the Holy Spirit. That’s when I met Jason and he spoke about GEM. I got so excited when he started sharing the things GEM was doing in Mexico that I made it a point to talk to him afterward. I had no idea that this little act of reaching out would lead into a conversation between the Executive Director and me about becoming the new Business Manager. Now, having accepted the position, I am beyond excited to embark on this new journey to Puerto Escondido! I am so grateful to my God that he knew the desires of my heart and thought it good to bless me with them. I couldn’t ask for a more fitting role, with a more God-fearing organization, in a more beautiful place! God has done it all and all I had to do was trust and wait.
Maggie Addison, GEM Missionary